Originally reviewed at Sinfully.
After the first two books in the series (you really shouldn’t read this as a standalone) there is little doubt that Jude and Rowan love each other and are better together than apart. The problem is that both of them have a stubborn streak. Rowan is constantly afraid that once he commits and gets comfortable his happiness will be taken away. Jude still hasn’t fully come to grips with the fact that he is no longer in law enforcement. He enjoys running his fishing tour business, but he can’t turn off his investigative instincts and his need to see justice done.
Rowan and Jude have been living together for a few months, but Rowan can’t bring himself to move all the way in with Jude. His clothes and toiletries have all found a place in the home, but the rest of his boxes and personal items haven’t been unpacked. He knows this bothers Jude, but deep down he still fears that Jude will be gone from his life again so why should he bother settling in further. Besides his priority is his physical recovery, which is still ongoing, and getting back to normal at work. Jude can feel Rowan holding things back from him and wonders if he still has one foot out the door.
Rowan is back to work with a new boss who holds a grudge against him and is going to make his life difficult. When their neighbor, Riley, calls Jude about some remains he finds on his property, things start to go bad very quickly. Rowan is tasked with the investigation and his new boss is all over him, especially when Jude is at the crime scene when they show up. Jude believes Riley is going to take the fall for a murder he didn’t commit. No matter how much Rowan tells Jude to stop interfering in the case, how much he explains to Jude that his new boss is looking for something to hang him with, Jude just can’t stop himself.
While the mystery is again well done, this book is all about the emotional side of the romance between Jude and Rowan. This time we get both their points of view so even though they have a difficult time there is no question that they both love each other and want the relationship to work. The problem is that once again, love might not be enough to keep them together and their old demons and habits aren’t easy to break. Jude and Rowan have gotten a bit better at talking, but neither one listens all that well. There are still things being held back and frustrations have them lashing out at each other until they finally break.
If it sounds like all the heavy tension is going to bring the mood down, don’t worry; Jude’s sister Kristy puts an end to that. She has tasked Jude and Rowan with throwing a bachelor party for her groom who lives out of the country and they have never met. The woman gets on my nerves at times, but she has nothing but love for Jude and Rowan and will do what she can to make sure they are as happy as she is.
I absolutely love Rowan and Jude as a couple. It’s only been about five months since they got back together in [b:Doubleback|25238854|Doubleback (Doubleback, #1)|Lissa Ford|https://d2arxad8u2l0g7.cloudfront.net/books/1436434657s/25238854.jpg|44957817] and they have been five difficult months, but they have worked hard to stay together. They have moved forward and though they can’t imagine going back to a life without the other it seemed like it just may have to come to that. They love hard and they fight hard and their passion comes through on the page. Their struggle was emotional and at times and my heart was breaking as I blamed each of them for what was happening (though I blamed Jude a bit more).
While a new avenue of opportunity presents itself to Jude towards the end of this book, there is something else looming that they will have to deal with first. I don’t want to characterize the ending as a cliff hanger, but there is something that comes up that makes for an uncertain future. The men still love and are there for each other, but once again their road seems to be heading uphill.
Lissa Ford’s writing is wonderful. Both the relationship and mystery storylines consistently work well together. I am really hoping that in the next book there is more time for these two to be with each other without being torn apart. They have been put through the wringer since before the first book starts and they definitely deserve their happy ever after.